All CMOs are driven to achieve the 3Es of marketing — Efficiency, Efficacy, and Engagement. Marketing Technology landscape has swelled to over 6000+ to actually allow CMOs get closer to their goals and increase marketing efficiency in a measurable manner. Today, marketing and sales teams have an unprecedented access to their customers and prospects, including their anonymous activity with you and across the web.
Recently, Conversant announced a powerful Marketing & Analytics Platform, Mesobase, to further empower marketing teams to deliver highly relevant campaigns to single anonymous identity. We spoke to Ric Elert, President, Conversant about the creation of Mesobase.
Tell us about your role at Conversant and the team/technology you handle.
As President, I manage Conversant’s business operations, not including our sales team, and guide our corporate and product strategies. I simultaneously lead the engineering team at Epsilon. The goal in assuming these dual roles was to complete the interoperability and interaction of all Epsilon and Conversant technologies. Customers don’t differentiate between messages received through online and offline channels, meaning our clients need an all-encompassing connection or communication path with cross-device continuity. My position helps ensure we have that.
What’s Mesobase and how does it help businesses build customer relations?
Mesobase is the industry’s first self-service Customer and Prospect Relationship Management (CPRM) platform.
We see brands that execute campaigns across different channels but have difficulty determining what’s driving revenue. Clients often have fragmented data on their customers, so they are unable to look at customers in a holistic way. And clients’ prospect data, if they have it, is often outdated demographic data. That’s where Mesobase comes in.
Mesobase provides clients direct access and visibility into their customer and prospect data, with the ability to analyze, build audiences, activate and measure attribution.
Clients can create their own models to gather person-level insights and performance metrics that are more robust than those available in a marketing cloud, DMP or CDP. They can then take those models and run campaigns with us or another third-party partner. It takes the busy work out of marketing by reducing the time needed to shuffle through data and instead lets clients spend that time focusing on the performance end of marketing.
Why did you choose to build a marketing and analytics platform in a tech-heavy ecosystem? How does Mesobase link to your other technologies for various channels and format?
We developed Mesobase because our clients requested it. Clients are frustrated with the lack of transparency from their digital marketing partners, especially the walled gardens. They want to understand how systems work and be able to see their real-time data.
In our case, they want to know how our system is so efficient in communicating with their customers and prospects. They wanted to see what we could see, so we built Mesobase on top of our CORE Platform to offer a client-specific view of customers and prospects in a live environment.
At the same time, we want clients to go in and use it without locking them into something rigid so we pre-built connectors to ensure Mesobase integrates with all Epsilon and Conversant technologies as well as hundreds of other offline and online marketing partners. This connection allows clients to activate the audiences they created in Mesobase with us or with their preferred marketing partner.
Mesobase is an open book that delivers a level of transparency and control clients can’t get anywhere else.
Could you elaborate further on how segment-based communications are moving to journey-based and trigger-moment-inspired outreach?
The biggest problem with segmentation is that people are incorrectly included or excluded from segments. There is a great degree of inefficiency in working with segments. When you don’t know who you need to speak to, you can easily end up with wasted media spend. Over time, the focus on segmentation shifted to personalization. The first goal of personalization is to look at your data in a person-centric view across channels and devices. It’s what we give clients in Mesobase.
How does Conversant deliver cross-industry benefits to modern businesses? Which sectors in the industry are best-placed to leverage Mesobase and why?
All companies need to develop stronger, more personal relationships with their customers, especially in today’s ultra-competitive environment.
Mesobase helps clients understand their customers and prospects at a deeper level. We’ve found that companies with deep, ongoing relationships with their customers and an established ability to measure outcomes (transactions) are most interested in Mesobase, regardless of vertical.
Once clients understand their customers and prospects, we pride ourselves on our ability to accurately reach individuals at scale and help clients test their theories. Even companies that build a decent database and can analyze customers are still plagued by the ability to recognize and reach their customers and see the impact of those interactions. Mesobase provides all that.
What does your product/ marketing roadmap for Mesobase look for 2018-2022? Are you planning to add any technology partners to increase adoption rate?
The key to increasing the adoption rate of Mesobase isn’t about adding technology partners but instead adding data sources that help further describe an individual in real time. Our analysis and experience indicate that brands need to communicate with customers when they show intent to take an action.
Mesobase provides access to intent data and empowers clients to quickly react to those intentions on any channel, regardless of what platform they’re using to deliver media. Our roadmap also includes providing more attribution and marketing mix planning. In doing so, Mesobase would allow clients to do these analyses by an individual for the first time.
What are your thoughts on AI/ML and the scope of IoT in completely revolutionizing Digital Reinventions for omnichannel businesses?
Machine learning enables us to understand and learn from the ongoing interactions people have with brands and then fine tune those reactions in real time. It’s like two people having a conversation.
Whether a brand is trying to sell a high-dollar item occasionally or a low-price item regularly, machine learning can adjust the conversation based on past experience. Ultimately, machine learning allows for efficient communication with a higher rate of return.
You still see a lot of marketing initiatives that follow a similar pattern: Run a program. Stop. Run a program. Stop. These programs are not only disjointed for customers but fail to provide any value to marketers.
Thank You, Ric, for chatting with us about Mesobase!